City have a habit of surprising us, and pulling results out of the bag which you’d never expect. Last season there was the crushing 3-1 at their place, and the 1-1 at Old Trafford, which we easily could have lost with minutes to go when Andy Cole almost buried the ball in the back of the net. It was only a couple of seasons before that City were fighting the relegation battle, but still managed to batter us 4-1. The season before that we were crowned Champions, but couldn’t escape the 3-1 defeat against them. Now, before we played City yesterday, they had yet to score a goal at home in 2007, and were without their best player, the man who has helped carry them through this season, their top scorer with a massive seven goals, Joey Barton. Barton was missing due to his attack on team mate Dabo, who was left unconscious, after blows to the head, and it’s suspected Barton dug his fingers in to his team mates eyes. Nice little scouser.
As we stood inside the ground, other scum bags in blue shouted and sung about Munich. These chants were drowned out by our songs, but there was certainly no love lost between the two sets of fans. As the City fans twizzled the scarves their club placed under their seats before kick off, as some desperate attempt to improve the atmosphere at the council house, we laughed at them, which only incensed them all the more, and again they retaliated with Munich.
The game doesn’t have much to report on, and with little entertainment on the field, we sought our entertainment elsewhere, namely, taking the piss out of the blue noses. As the attendance for the match was announced, some 2000 more than their highest attendance for the rest of the season, we took great amusement in applauding them. As they sung their embarrassingly camp “Blue Moon”, we responded with “One song, you’ve only got one song”. Again, they showed us we were wrong, and sung about Munich.
Ronaldo scored the only goal of the game, a penalty which came from a stupid Ball challenge. It wasn’t the first we’d seen of Ball in the match though. As Ronaldo writhed around on the ground, and Ferguson exploded on the sidelines, it was clear something had gone wrong. It was only upon watching the replay at home that we saw what had happened. That thug stamped on Ronaldo’s stomach, after checking the ref wasn’t watching. That thug continued to foul Ronaldo throughout the game, and managed to avoid a yellow card, astonishingly. Ball topped off his scum bag performance with a dive in the area, earning his side a penalty. Fortunately, City showed no desire to end their embarrassingly poor goalscoring record, and Vassell drilled the ball in the centre of the goal, straight in to Van der Sar’s leg.
Whilst United offered little in front of goal, City offered even less, and whilst United’s passing wasn’t at its best, we still had over 60% of the possession. We did “the Chelsea” and ground out the result we needed, with exerting as little effort and excitement as we possibly could. Our players aren’t just physically tired, but mentally tired. Rooney said last week every game now is like a Cup final, and simply it’s impossible to work yourselves up for that every game. Yesterday was United’s 10th game in 28 days. In that time, we’ve played in the semi finals for two competitions, and six away games.
Today though, our players do get their rest, and thanks to City not moving the fixture a day back after our away trip in Europe, we get an extra day to prepare for the Chelsea game on Wednesday. City didn’t get the surprise result they desperately longed for. And whilst our players rest, Chelsea have to work their bollocks off to get a win at the Emirates, something which only one team has achieved. Today is the day the title could be won. Watch this space.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.